“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35, NASB)
Monday nights have become an anticipated and exciting night in the Squires household ever since our church began holding adult volleyball several months ago. Travis and I get a chance to play a team sport, get a little exercise, and spend time with friends while the kids get to… well… play, get a little exercise, and spend time with friends.
In fact, what started out to be about us adults getting active and having some fun (and bringing our kids along in order to make that happen) has very nearly come to be about the kids playing with friends (and bringing the parents along in order to make that happen)–or so they seem to think, anyway. Apparently, I’m not the only volleyball-playing parent who gets gently “prodded” to go play volleyball each Monday night.
Truly, a great time is had by “kids” of all ages; and such was especially true for me this past Monday night. Everyone was playing well (which my competitive nature finds particularly satisfying ). The little boys were enjoying a competitive game of dodge ball off to the side while the little girls flitted to and fro doing whatever little girls do.
Laughter and fun was abounding until, in an instant, I found myself on the floor in terrible pain at the center of a growing circle. I had gone up for a ball and come down on someone’s foot. My ankle had given until it could give no more; and with a slide of something that shouldn’t have moved, my foot was painfully released from its unnatural landing place.
For a while the pain was more than I thought I could handle. Almost reminiscent of my copings with childbirth, I shut my eyes tightly while moaning through focused breathing. As I gradually began to realize what had happened, I became aware of the foot’s owner knelt beside me in fervent, whispered prayer.
As my Brother prayed over me, the pain in my foot and ankle began to ease to a more tolerable state, as if melting though not completely. I was able at last to open my eyes, and the praying Brother helped my husband to get me off the court.
I was greeted at the sideline by two others who had independently of each other made haste to retrieve ice and by several others who did what they could to make me more comfortable. And when at last the play resumed, I was not left without the kind hearts of those who sat with me to offer advice and sympathy.
Back home that night and into the next morning, Travis and I received several texts and Facebook messages from concerned friends who wondered how I was doing and how they could help, and an email from one who had been up in the night praying for me.
I tell you, as embarrassing as it was to be the one on the floor and as humbling as it was to be the recipient of such care–even through the pain–I was thankful. My friends–my Brothers and Sisters in Christ–were showing me a supernatural love that I’m not worthy to receive. And through that they showed me the compassion of our Lord.
I am so thankful to be a part of the Body of Christ and to be among the ministers of His grace. My ankle may be tender with injury, but my heart is filled and my spirit strengthened by the love of God’s people. As they ministered to my pain, they showed me His love; and through their love, they showed me Him.